Miami building collapse: death toll rises to 5, additional remains found

The death toll in the Surfside, Florida, residential building collapse has risen to five, officials said.

A body was recovered from the rubble of the Champlain Towers South condominium, Miami-Dade County Mayor Daniella Levine Cava said at a press briefing Saturday evening. Additionally, search and rescue crews found “some human remains,” the mayor said. Those additional remains will have to be identified through DNA testing; family members have been asked to submit samples, the mayor said. Three of the deceased have been identified.

As search efforts continued for a third day, 156 people remain missing and 130 people have been accounted for, Levine Cava said. The search effort was hampered by a deep fire in the rubble that was spreading and releasing gray smoke, though first responders were able to make progress throughout the day, Levine Cava said. “Our top priority continues to be search and rescue and saving any lives that we can,” she said.

Structural engineers are also investigating the safety of the complex’s other buildings, including Champlain Towers East, Surfside Vice Mayor Tina Paul said. FBA has also reported that a consultant had warned there was evidence of “major structural damage” below the pool deck of a Miami Beach-area condo building nearly three years before it collapsed [ABC News].

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